The Apple Keynote Leaves One Question: What Are You Living For?

Keynote Party in Studio Statensingel
Creative Commons License photo credit: illustir

As the Internets blow up around the announcements of some Apple news, I’m left with an interesting thought.

People live for this event.

There are some people who wait all year to stand in line and go to a conference where The Steve speaks about what’s upcoming in Apple land.

Now I’ll be the first to admit… it’s a pretty cool event, and I love hearing about Apple news. However, if we step back and look at it, the news that has everyone in a lather about is a new phone. I was left feeling a bit let down.

I’ve been on Plurk since last week (add me as a friend!), and I read an interesting quote that really challenged me:

“I just gotta know; did anything else happen anywhere in the world today *OTHER* than a new freakin’ iPhone? Just curious; flood, famine, war…”

Imagine the letdown if you were really into this event, like some people are. Your whole year has led up to this day, this hour… the potential for letdown is enormous (which some are probably feeling right now).

There is a lot more going on in the world that needs our attention. Things that should get tons more ink thanĀ  product announcements from a company. If you’re living for something bigger than an iPhone announcement, than the odds of being let down are much less. So here’s a deep thought for a Monday…

What are you living for?

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{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Alvin June 20, 2008, 9:51 am

    It's a lot about your passion, isn't it?

    I mean, there are people in the world who care a lot about bugs. Tiny little bugs. I can try but studying bugs won't get me up in the morning. Yet these bug-loving people are doing their own bit to better the world by improving our knowledge of it.

    As an ex-designer and tech lover, I can give you the perspective that Apple makes stunningly beautiful products that just outright inspire you. They raise the bar so high and twist the surprises so sharply that it takes your breath away. For a designer, it's literally like a breath of fresh mountain air.

    There's beauty in there, like there's beauty in bugs for the bug lovers, leaves for the plant lovers and little stamps for the stamp lovers.

    I agree, that in the larger perspective, there are big things to think about too. But just because you care about the iPhone doesn't mean you care less about them. It's not such an either/or sum game.

    I'm sure there were people who got up early in the morning just to watch the keynote (me) who also contribute to the world. And those who didn't give two hoots and also don't care about making a larger difference.

  • Alvin June 20, 2008, 5:51 am

    It's a lot about your passion, isn't it?

    I mean, there are people in the world who care a lot about bugs. Tiny little bugs. I can try but studying bugs won't get me up in the morning. Yet these bug-loving people are doing their own bit to better the world by improving our knowledge of it.

    As an ex-designer and tech lover, I can give you the perspective that Apple makes stunningly beautiful products that just outright inspire you. They raise the bar so high and twist the surprises so sharply that it takes your breath away. For a designer, it's literally like a breath of fresh mountain air.

    There's beauty in there, like there's beauty in bugs for the bug lovers, leaves for the plant lovers and little stamps for the stamp lovers.

    I agree, that in the larger perspective, there are big things to think about too. But just because you care about the iPhone doesn't mean you care less about them. It's not such an either/or sum game.

    I'm sure there were people who got up early in the morning just to watch the keynote (me) who also contribute to the world. And those who didn't give two hoots and also don't care about making a larger difference.

  • Hanna June 12, 2008, 5:43 pm

    There is an iPhone in the world? Cool stuff!

    I live to create and paint. Great post!

  • Karl Staib June 11, 2008, 10:04 pm

    It's just a grand distraction. We are tired of war and tsunamis. That's why we pick up People magazine when we are in the grocery store instead of Time. We want to create a world that is fun.

    That's what Apple gives us and I ask “why not?” I'm not a big fan, but if it makes someone excited then run with it because life should be fun and exciting. If it takes us away from the pain then that's a good thing.

  • Joe June 11, 2008, 10:22 am

    Apple events are no different than other events or activities … sports, conventions, off road gatherings, and dare I say … blogging. Yes, Life Dev and other bloggers live for each day to blog … don't you? You wake up each day salivating about what the new day will bring so that you can be the first to post about whatever.

    Life is about living it … and hopefully each of us has some compassion about what we do and what we live for. I live to enjoy each day and try to do the best I can at living life.

    • Richard X. Thripp June 14, 2008, 8:45 pm

      It's not living to blog; it's living to help others become more productive, or creative, or inspired. Tying yourself up in a medium, i.e. I live to blog, to write, to take pictures, for Apple products, or whatever, is mere consumerism, because none of these are particularly valuable unless you're influencing other people.

      I'm glad you've accepted that joy is good, but living merely for it is no better than for the iPhone. You have to go through a lot of pain tribulations to live your best life.

  • Clara June 10, 2008, 3:13 pm

    Apple has not simply created a line of products. They created a line of LIFESTYLE changing products. They have been really good at increasing product adoption because they create products that people can relate to on a human level, versus the ton of products out there that emphasize features. When Mac Book Air came out, you could see the connection, not only did it look cool, but it was light and easy to carry, which everyone wants. I don't own a Mac but this is only what I have observed.

  • Samuel June 10, 2008, 12:17 pm

    Great post. I often wonder if there are other technology fans out there that have the ability to 'see above the fog' in issues such as this. It's good to read that you're right there, too.

    While I love apple products and anticipate what will come next from 'the steve', I'm not disillusioned to believe that any of these things matter when I go to bed at night. When I go to bed, I think about my wife, my three kids, and the sleep I need.

  • Lauren June 10, 2008, 5:59 am

    I'm kinda torn on this one. As a person and as a mom, the insanity of consumerism in Western culture scares me and I think it's ruining the human spirit to a large extent.
    But as a product manager, I also appreciate the incredible artistic, engineering (and yes, marketing) talent that went into this. It is quite a product. Why is it ok for people to get emotional about a painting or symphony or photograph but not about an iPhone? It is a beautiful design that has functionality (in this case a phone and some other software)… but a beautiful design all the same, which I am not embarrassed about admiring. Although I'm not buying one. To me, a phone that will explode if dropped is the height of impracticality.

  • Glen Allsopp June 10, 2008, 3:18 am

    I love the image related with this post, I'm also very happy that you wrote about this as I twittered something similar. i can't believe so many people go crazy over a phone…it is a phone after-all.

    • alper June 10, 2008, 4:55 am

      Thanks for your comment and OP thanks for using the picture. It was a fun event from macosx.nl last year for the iPhone launch where we all gathered to follow the keynote.

  • Daniel June 10, 2008, 1:57 am

    I live to point people to Jesus Christ. The God/Man and Man/God.

  • Ryan June 9, 2008, 9:18 pm

    Good question. I live for more than a product announcement, but I also live for the small things in life, including spending a few minutes during my lunch break to see what the latest was from Apple. I guess that brings some immeasurable amount of satisfaction, although I don't believe it's as vital to my happiness as, say, peanut butter.

  • Invalid_User_Name June 9, 2008, 6:25 pm

    Read an article about 10 years or so years ago (pre-iPod days) said something like..”Save your passion for your life/spouse/muse. Don't waste it on a machine”. The author was refering to Apple fanboys way back then.

  • Vinod June 9, 2008, 5:28 pm

    Well, The Netherlands won with 3-0 from Italy (current world champion).. so there is more that happened today :) (I talking about European Championship of Soccer…)

    Seriously, it is pretty impressive to have a company that can create hypes over and over again. (Yes I have an iPhone).

  • LivSimpl June 9, 2008, 5:26 pm

    I agree. It's fun to have things to get excited about, but there should be moderation in all things. And there are certainly more worthwhile causes to throw your energies and focus behind.

    Good post, thanks!

  • Art Gonzalez June 9, 2008, 5:03 pm

    An event like this should be an inspiration, not a live revolving milestone. The iPhone is an inspiration of something beautiful, practical and useful for our lifes. It should motivate us to look on how to embed those characteristics to our endeavor.

    Art Gonzalez
    Check my Squidoo Lens at: Quantum Knights

  • Shanel Yang June 9, 2008, 4:26 pm

    Hmm. This must be yet another example of me being totally out of the loop. I had no idea there even was such a craze for Apple news. I mean I've heard about people going a little crazy about buying every new Apple product, but I didn't know consumers waited all year long to go to a convention to hear about them!

    What I am living for is a chance to teach underprivileged youth about great life lessons that are being taught in all the wonderful blogs I've discovered within the last few months. I want to write books to help them understand how to make the most of life's opportunities and especially about personal accountability, potential, relationships, and, even, finance. I live for the expressions on their faces when they start to believe in themselves. But, for right now, I live for any information that can help me become a better teacher for them.

    I used to live for the latest movies, designer clothes, weekend ski trips, and winning cases for my clients. But, I finally realized that none of those things brought me lasting happiness. The most deeply satisfying memories I have to this day are of teaching convicted felons at a boys prison school for 10 amazing weeks as part of one of my law school classes. I should have switched career paths right there and then. But, as they say, “Shoula, woula, and a quarter still only gets you a cup of coffee.” (Not at Starbucks!) Anyway, that's what I live for. And, now, after all these years, I'm going for it! I'm dusting off my teaching certificate and heading back to the inner city schools from which I came. Thanks for a great post!

  • Tim Jackson June 9, 2008, 3:57 pm

    Thanks for the link and all… and sorry for being in such a crappy and cynical mood today…

    … but even without the “mood” I possess, this “event” has bugged me for the past few years. For the exact reasons you mention; why should a PRODUCT launch from a COMPANY mean so much? Yes, I fully embrace the knowledge that we all need meaningless distractions in our lives- especially in our current world- but I do ask the same question; what ARE we living for?

    I have an immense amount of respect for Jobs and Apple, but they haven't produced a cure for AIDS or stopped world hunger. He's a great guy, but he's no prophet.

    Maybe today (and next year) I should just unplug for the day… I'll be less likely to be offended by the news of a new phone that will NOT save the planet from itself.

    • Glen Stansberry June 9, 2008, 4:05 pm

      My sentiments exactly!

    • Farfield June 9, 2008, 4:31 pm

      I don't care that much about these new things, or let's say I don't let them influence my life that much, but somehow, as an Apple user, I can't get away from the Reality Distortion Field lots of Apple fans are experiencing. It makes you want what they make, and it makes you find reasons to want it. Even if you're a positive minded treehugger like me.

      If you're a Mac user you probably know what I mean, and if not, you probably never will…